Reversible Headband Tutorial

I battle my hair all summer. My hair is blond and fine and I have a lot of it. Blond hair tangles easily and when you're as active as I am in the summer, {boating, swimming, camping, gardening} hair in a ponytail is a must. But sometimes I need something a little more....decorative. Sometimes we'll stop and grab dinner on our way home from a long day of boating and I'd like to have something I can throw in my hair that will hold everything back and camouflage the mess. So, a beautiful reversible headband is in order!

For Adult Measurements:
Measure the circumference of your head from the nape of your neck {where the back of the headband will sit} to just behind your hairline on your forehead. Divide your measurements like this:
Total circumference - 18" - 1.5"= elastic length

So for my melon:  my head is 24" around minus 18" = 6" - 1.5"= 4.5" for my elastic. {save this measurement}

For Child {5 - 10 yrs} Measurements:
Total Circumference - 16" - 1.5" = elastic length

Please Note: This measurement formula is approximate. If you're unsure about your measurements, make a practice headband and adjust any measurements based on your prototype.

Before you begin - read through the entire tutorial at least twice!

You'll need:
Adult Size: {2} 2.5" x 18" strips from two coordinating fabrics {I used 2 strips from a jelly roll)
Child Size: {2} 2.5" x 16" strips from coordinating fabrics
{2} 2.5" x 18" {or 16" if making child size}strip of lightweight or medium weight fusible interfacing
{1} piece of 3/4" elastic cut to your elastic length measurement
Coordinating thread for topstitching
Sewing machine

Fusible interfacing: if you've never used it, there's a nubby side.....

...and a smooth side. The nubby side goes against the wrong side of the fabric.

Iron interfacing to the wrong side of one of the strips with a high heat setting. Repeat with other coordinating fabric strip.

Fold strip in half, wrong sides facing, and pin with flat pins.

At the end where the raw edges are {not the folded end}, mark a line 1/2" in from the left side...

....and 1/2" in from the right side. These will create the cutting lines that will  create the shape of the headband.

Line up a straight edge from the folded corner to the 1/2" line on the raw edge.

Cut with a rotary cutter.

Repeat with other side.

This is what it will look like still folded after you've cut.

This is what it will look like after you've opened it.

Repeat cutting process with the other strip.

Place both strips together, right sides together, and pin. With right side together, sew all the way up the left side of the strip. Do not sew the ends yet. {You will sew these later when you insert the elastic and then topstitch} Repeat on other side - but.....

....leave a 3" opening for turning.

Turn right side out {make this a little easier using a chopstick}. Now you have a tube. Press.....

...making sure you press seam allowance in at the opening for a nice finished edge. Pin opening closed.

For the raw edges at the ends, turn in at least 1/4" so the raw edges are inside the tube. {This can be a little tricky!} Press.

Into each end, insert your elastic and pin. Try to make the turned-in edges and elastic look as square as possible and all of the raw edges from the elastic and the fabric are inside the headband tube. Pin both the elastic and the folded edge in place. {Double check that your headband hasn't gotten  twisted before the next step!}

Edgestitch all the way around your headband. I reinforced the ends where the elastic are for added strength by sewing over it twice. Also - take care to sew over your turning opening carefully so it looks crisp and clean.

This is what it looks like after topstitching all the way around. You can see the double stitching on the elastic.

The shape of this headband is based on a pattern by Katie of See Katie Sew . I bought the pattern for her Patchwork Inlay Headband a few weeks ago. It's a great pattern and a super-wonderful project for using up scraps or making a headband in personal color combos {sports teams, party favors for a girls' party}. I made one to coordinate with my black bathing suit!  She makes great patterns and is a nice gal to boot! Visit her Etsy shop and buy stuff.


  1. My girls would love some of those!! Definitely need to make some!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. What a great tutorial Andie... This will be much nicer than my usual crumby old ponytail. Will definitely make some!

  3. still needing to make a rouched flower for my reversible headband so you will recognize me when I am peepin through your windows and stalkin you... Sincerely, your biggest fan. ;)

  4. Great tute! I could use about a dozen of these to tame the frizzy mess of curls the heat has brought out.

  5. That's a REALLY nice headband! Thanks so much for the great tutorial, you make it all so clear! 'll be linking.

  6. Love this idea! I have a terrible time getting a headband to stay on my head and making a custom sized band might just do the trick! Miss you! - Victoria


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